Tofu and Cauliflower in Indian Kolhapuri Sauce. Creamy Spicy Pepper Coconut Sesame Sauce with baked veggies and Tofu. Vegan Gluten-free Nut-free Recipe. Soy-free option. Jump to Recipe
Kolhapuri cuisine is a regional cuisine from a town in the state of Maharashtra in India. The region has its own cuisine, various chilies and is know for hot, deep colored, spicy dishes and sauces. The cuisine has its own spice blend called kolhapuri masala which uses spices, coconut, fenugreek and chilies. I make a simplified version of the masala blend and the sauce and use it with Baked Tofu and Cauliflower here. I’ve made a version of this cooked with various veggies here (instant pot recipe).
The sauce use whole spices and ingredients such as sesame and coconut that add a unique flavor. Try this sauce with baked veggies, chickpeas or chickpea tofu for variation.
Ingredients for the Vegan Kolhapuri Sauce
- Whole Spices: Coriander seeds, black pepper corns, bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon stick are the spice flavor ingredients. You can use ground spices for some of these. Add them to th skillet after the whole spices have roasted enough.
- onion, sesame seeds, shredded coconut and onion makeup the sauce volume
- garam masala or kolhapuri masala blend or goda masala blend tot finish the sauce
Veggies and Tofu are tossed in ginger, garlic, turmeric, cayenne/chili powder, and lime juice to bake. Use more veggies or cooked chickpeas to substitute tofu.
How to Make this Tofu and Cauliflower in Vegan Kolhapuri sauce
Transfer back to the skillet over medium heat. Use 1/4 cup water to rinse out the blender and add to the skillet. and bring to a boil. Taste and adjust salt and flavor. Add the tofu and cauliflower and and mix. Cover and cook for 2 to 4 mins for the flavors to meld. Take off heat but let sit covered for a few mins.
Can I make this Soy-free?
Yes use more veggies or 1 cup cooked chickpeas or chickpea tofu instead of tofu
More Indian dishes to try
- Butter Tofu – Tofu in Butter Masala Sauce. GF
- IP Tikka Masala Simmer Sauce , with Cauliflower. GF
- Tofu Amritsari Masala.GF
- Instant Pot Vegan Butter Chickin(soycurls). GF – Creamy, Delicious
- Mushroom Matar Masala GF
- Bombay Potato and Peas GF
- Tofu in Spinach Curry – Palak Tofu GF
- Keema Madras – Lentils in Madras sauce. GF
Tofu and Cauliflower in Kolhapuri Sauce
For the Tofu and Cauliflower:
- 14 oz (396.89 g) firm or extra firm tofu , pressed for 5 mins and cubed
- 2 cups (200 g) cauliflower , small florets
- 1/3 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 inch ginger
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 2 tsp lime juice
For the Kolhapuri sauce:
- 1 tsp oil
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds (or use 1 tsp ground coriander, add the ground spice with onion)
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns (or use 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper, add it with the onions)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1/2 tsp salt ,divided
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 2 tsp shredded coconut
- 2 medium tomatoes chopped
- 1/2 tsp garam masala or kolhapuri masala or goda masala, optional (these blends can be found in Indian stores)
- 1.25 cups (295.74 ml) water
- Bake the Tofu+veggies:Press and cube the tof u and add to large bowl. Chop the cauliflower add to the bowl.
- Blend the spices, salt, ginger, garlic, lime juice with 1-2 tbsp of water to make puree. Alternatively, mix minced/paste ginger, minced or crushed garlic, lime with the water and sprinkle spices and salt in the next step.
- Add half of the ginger, garlic mixture to the tofu and cauliflower. (add the turmeric, cayenne and salt if you dint blend them in).
- Toss well and transfer to parchment lined baking sheet or dish. (use baking sheet for crispier, drier tofu, and baking dish for moist). Bake at 400 deg F (205 C) for 25 to 28 mins
- Meanwhile make the Kolhapuri sauce: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When just about hot, add the coriander seeds, black pepper, bay leaf, cinnamon cloves and mix well. Cook until fragrant. about 1 minute.
- Add the onion and 1/4 tsp salt. Mix and cook until translucent. Add the sesame seeds and mix in. Add the ginger garlic mixture from step 2 and mix in. Cook for a minute.
- Add the tomatoes, coconut, salt and garam masala if using and mix in. Cover and cook until tomatoes are tender. Deglaze after 2-3 mins if needed. Mash the larger tomato pieces and take off heat. (The mixture will reduce and can easily be transferred to a blender for the next step)
- Remove the day leaf and Blend the sauce with 1 cup of water in a blender until smooth.
- Transfer back to the skillet over medium heat. Add the bay leaf back. Use 1/4 cup water to rinse out the blender and add to the skillet, and bring to a boil. Taste and adjust salt and flavor. Add the tofu and cauliflower and and mix. Cover and cook for 2 to 4 mins for the flavors to meld. Add more spices, salt if needed. Take off heat but let sit covered for a few mins.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice or flatbread. Store: Refrigerate for upto 3 days. As with most Indian sauces, the sauce will get more flavorful and hotter as it sits.